The former prefect who killed a marriage and fell in love with his passion for shopping

When the daughter arrived at the house where her parents lived in a residential area of ​​Banfield in the evening, she did not imagine the worst, although she was struck by the fact that they had not answered the landline for the past several hours. Entering the two-story house, he found a nightmarish scene: his 65-year-old mother had been slashed in the kitchen, and his 67-year-old father had been killed in the room upstairs. No signs of theft, no broken door, the criminal went down weeks later for spending he made on a credit card he took from the scene.

The story that shook the residents of this southern neighborhood of Greater Buenos Aires began on March 27, 1999, when an acquaintance of María Parada and Antonio Cosentino arrived at the two-story house where they lived. He told them on the phone the day before that he would get up, so the woman prepared a cake to treat him.

The visitor in question worked in a pizzeria and in the prefecture for nearly 10 years. He was exonerated by that force in 1997 for credit card fraud. The Cosentinos were giving him their apartment in Mar del Plata so that he would have a place to live while he stayed in this coastal town.

He arrived in Buenos Aires four days earlier, on March 23. He stayed at a hotel on Avenida de Mayo and paid in advance for his stay until April 1st. And on the agenda was that visit to Banfield that ended in the bloody double crime.

That morning, while Maria was cutting the cake and serving the tea, the boy surprised her from behind. With the same knife she used, the 28-year-old former prefect stabbed her seven times and then slashed her throat. Without wasting a minute, she went upstairs and looked for Antonio, who was about to wake up for breakfast. He inflicted 25 stab wounds on the former YPF company director between 1957 and 1988 in bed, many in the chest and others in the arms, leading us to believe he had tried to defend himself.

Attack on malls

After those minutes of rage, the killer took his time to arrange the scene, as if he had planned everything perfectly. He rummaged through drawers and a closet as if to simulate a robbery, but did not take money or jewelry. He cleaned up some of the spilled blood and went to the hotel where he was staying. But before that, he passed through two malls in Buenos Aires. That Saturday and two days after, she devoted herself to buying things: designer jumpsuits, imported perfumes, CDs and even bed linen.

In all he spent about 4,000 pesos; that is, in the 1 to 1 period, he blew $4,000. For reference, it’s useful to know that the minimum living wage that year was $200, and that the man paid 38 pesos a night to sleep in the hotel. But this excessive spending, the man had done with the only thing he took from the Cosentino couple’s house: a credit card.

Investigators, who pointed to an acquaintance of the family, began to connect the dots. A call from the previous days from the young man in question from Mar del Plata, the report made by one of the daughters about the missing card, a printout and a communication recorded on the answering machine eventually found the killer. There, the card company warned about the extraordinary expenses that “Cosentino is making”.

When they found the hotel he was staying in, the former prefect was gone. He had bought a map with routes and destinations in the country and, with a backpack on his shoulder, traveled around the province of Buenos Aires, Corrientes, Entre Rios, Santa Fe and Córdoba. By finger and by bus, I slept in hotels and made some payments with the card that left traces. But when they look for him, he has already left for another destination. He moved daily.

At the hotel in Buenos Aires, police found two bags of clothes he had bought and a diary in which the killer recorded his activities, such as the phone calls he made. In addition to his incriminating accounts, he wrote love letters and messages.

From a hotel in Villa Maria, Córdoba, the subject called the lodging in Buenos Aires to have these two bags of designer clothes he had purchased sent to him. The researchers saw the perfect hook there.

When the former prefect wanted to get hold of the packages that had arrived at the hotel, the police arrested him. Impeccably dressed in designer clothes, he showed no strength, said nothing. His silence spoke. Some time later he was sentenced to life imprisonment. (DIB) FD

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